Binky Lampano’s life lesson: ‘Free your mind, your ass will follow’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Binky Lampano’s life lesson: ‘Free your mind, your ass will follow’

The US-based powerhouse Pinoy bluesman looks forward to spending more time on native soil
By: - Desk Editor
/ 11:16 PM August 15, 2023

Binky Lampano photos all from Lampano Alley Facebook page

Binky Lampano photos all from Lampano Alley Facebook page

United States-based powerhouse Pinoy blues artist Binky Lampano may soon be spending more time on native soil. Just a year since he took a break from his IT/teaching job in California to fly home to Manila and play a few gigs, Lampano — one of the pioneering figures in the explosive ’90s alternative music scene — is back.

Not just to live out his passion for a few hours onstage, but to sit back and enjoy the fruits of labor in a new nest. On Facebook he was seen with wife Donna and some friends holding candles, while a priest presided in what turned out as the blessing of a house south of Manila.


A few nights ago, this writer caught up with Lampano as he visited his wedding godmother, fellow raconteur and rock ’n’ roll patron Daisy Langenegger in QC.


Yes, he’s got a new home, in Batangas, Lampano confirmed, and he’ll play one more gig before heading back to the US — to earn more dollars while looking forward to permanent vacation in the Philippines.

In this Q&A, Lampano is in his vintage, quotable self.

It’s been a year since you last visited Manila. Now you have a new house in Batangas. Does it mean you’ll be resettling here soon?

At some point. Just about working for retirement now. Might as well get something out of town where there’s still some crisp, fresh air and sweater weather come Jose Mari Chan season.

Your son Jaco’s been doing great with a job in the creative arts in the US. Tell us about it, and what’s it like to have raised him.

His mom, Donna, raised him for the most part. My part there was simply “show-and-tell.” He picked things up easily, especially stuff in his alley like films and such. To his credit, he networked with like-minded people at his junior college and university. He gets gigs on the weekend like any industry jobber, apart from his full-time work with a major film set supplier.

You’ve also found faith in Judaism. How does it help you in daily life?

It made me more appreciative of life itself, the better angels that we need to indulge more. Time has a way of giving us a good beatdown. We cope as best we can. I’m grateful for the more peaceful direction it gave me.

Your recent performance (with Joey Puyat, Butch Saulog, Simon Tan, Rey Vinoya) was different in the sense that you were singing without a mic. What do you like about such very intimate gigs?

People listened. There were no distractions, nobody fidgeting with smart devices, or trying the latest pickup line with a date. That’s when the performer actually stops singing and finally tells a damn story, warts and all — which is what it’s all about in the first place. That’s living art. It’s not about profit-and-loss margins, projections, hair-and-makeup, and goddamned scripts. It’s life.


And then it’s on to a bigger show on August 16 at 19 East, which is known for its loud, beautiful sound. What can the audience expect in terms of repertoire?

We’ll play what we always play, and hopefully impart the sense of wonder we feel with the unknown. The blues is the blues is the blues. An old blues standard is an ever-expanding universe of possibilities to anybody willing to immerse themselves.

Will the band personnel at the music bar be the same as that of 78’s?

Nope. Lampano Alley will be in the house with the mighty Kakoy Legaspi on guitar and Ian Lofamia on harp.

By the way, the Blue Rats will also be there and the blues trio, Aki & Kwakoy.

Any plans of recording a new album?

Cooking something now, and will have to run this by my crew. Might sound like a 180-degree turn, but it’s definitely going to be a stab at legacy.

What else do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?

Good question. These things only unfold as I go along. Five-year, focus-group, MBA-style plans never worked for me. The only thing that actually worked for me is this quote from George Clinton via Funkadelic: “Free your mind, and your ass will follow.”

I haven’t asked you this, but who’s your greatest musical influence and why?

My father, Rey Sr. He kept me grounded on Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Andy Williams, The Beatles, et al. — even as I listened to Bob Dylan, my New Wave stuff, jazz (courtesy of Atty. Butch Saulog) and blues and rock ’n’ roll odds-and-ends, especially Van “the Man” Morrison (from Les David and Ces Rodriguez’s A2Z Records)

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

And what’s your greatest guilty pleasure these days?

Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, and Stax-era Isaac Hayes. That’s when I’m not in a swap meet trying to make my steps for the day.


James Reid and Benjamin Kheng talk about heartbreak in upbeat music

Yassi Pressman gets cozy with Sandro Marcos amid breakup rumors with Jon Semira

Follow @Inq_Lifestyle on Twitter
TAGS: Blues music

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.